A concert is a live music performance in front of an audience. A recital is a concert by a soloist or small group which follows a program, such as featuring the works of a single composer (organ recital). A recitalist is a musician who gives frequent recitals. The invention of the solo piano recital has been attributed to Franz Liszt. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, choir, or band.

Concerts are held in a wide variety and size of settings, from private houses and small nightclubs, dedicated concert halls, entertainment centers and parks to large multipurpose buildings, and even sports stadiums. Indoor concerts held in the largest venues are sometimes called arena concerts or amphitheater concerts. Informal names for a concert include show and gig.

Regardless of the venue, musicians usually perform on a stage. Concerts often require live event support with professional audio equipment. Before recorded music, concerts provided the main opportunity to hear musicians play.